Representative user advisory group

Hello everyone,

I recently joined this forum and have also started applying the principles in my project’s work. In particular, I am interested in creating a representative user advisory group, that would be able to design, provide feedback and test our digital solutions.

However, I find little ressources on this subject. Does somebody know of best practices for setting up such a group? I would also be interested in discussing this shortly with anyone who might be an expert on the issue. Thanks a lot in advance!!

Hi Luca,

I recently formed a group to review our current IT system as well as applications such as online community platforms as well as the various comms tools which we use.

Happy to chat if needed!

Hi Luca
I’m glad you are thinking about the principles and adopting them in your work. However, I’m slightly worried by the way you have phrased your question. It sounds as if you already have some kind of solution(s) in mind and you are looking for some people who might have a problem to match your solution. I hope that is not the case.

In my experience, it’s best to start by working through, and in partnership with, NGOs and other organisations that are already deeply involved in working around the problem area that you are exploring.

It is very difficult for highly privileged people such as ourselves to build trusting and equitable relationships and to develop really open, honest and fruitful communications with people who are extremely marginalised - who may also speak a different language. As a result, we never really get to understand the complexities that we think we might be designing for, and we always run the risk of promoting a false, tokenistic version of ‘participation’.

Of course, you might be developing solutions that are for use by NGOs - in which case perhaps you should approach some of the NGO networks and ask them for help.
Good luck.
Happy to chat further if needed

Hi Ciaran,

that sounds very interesting! Would you maybe be available to chat at some point this week?

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

Hello Andy,

maybe there was a vocabulary issue, as by digital solution I mean a digital product, platform, what ever it may be, without it being necessary an already developped solution or concept.

We do however have a problem in mind, which is the lack of political participation at the municipal level for young people and women. We would like to form such a user advisory group in part to work with young and people to better understand this problem and co-develop solutions with them. As we are quite new in the field of user-centred design it would be great to have a chat with you if possible :slight_smile: It’s important to us to work on this principle in order to ensure that our activities respond to peoples’ needs. Could I maybe organise a call this week or the next?

Hi Luca,

Absolutely, you can drop me an email on

Hi Luca - sorry I was tied up a bit the past couple of weeks. Next week should be easier. I am a dot m dot dearden at shu dot ac dot uk - Andy